31 May 2010

Crave: Sea

Seeing as this is Memorial Day and (for many) the official start of the summer season, I should be lounging by the shore under an umbrella, drinking a gin and tonic (with extra lime), listening to waves crash whilst inhaling the salty spray.  Should would be the operative word in that sentence because, unfortunately, I am landlocked for the weekend but I make the most of it.  True, my ears are not filled with the symphony of the sea and my nose is not tickled by the warm wet mist but there is an abundance of prime comfy spots for lounging around the house and, most importantly, I have plenty of limes.

30 May 2010

Rhyme nor Reason: Bill Georgoussis

Maybe it's the wall of diaphanous red curtains or the mini-sized chair or the turntable or that bit of bed peaking out of the corner....perhaps its the two-tone shoes or the combination of horizontal and vertical stripes or the curve of the models stance....whatever it is, I like this image by the photographer Bill Georgoussis so that's why I'm sharing it right here.

29 May 2010

Crave: Reading Time

I love to sink my teeth into a good book and lately my bedtime routine of reading a few pages (or a few sentences when I'm really tired) before lights out just isn't cutting it.  I'm craving a nice big ol' chunk of uninterrupted time to read a whole chapter...maybe even two!  I would be so happy curling up on the sofa or my favorite wingback chair with a soon-to-be favorite book....and a delicious cup of coffee....and  a bottomless box of Petit Ecolier cookies (because they help me read better).

28 May 2010

Still Life: Waterlilies

Contrary to popular belief, I am far from a morning person.  Upon greeting a new day, I can barely form complete sentences pre-coffee and, until my third cup, my vocabulary hovers alarmingly close to monosyllabic. This being said, I don't fare very well performing tasks that take place early in the day such as operating large machinery or picking out blooms at the flower mart....I went in for three dozen white Tibet roses and came out with a handful of water lilies. 

27 May 2010

Covet: Teaching Mixed Media to Children

Sometimes I see something that really knocks the proverbial socks right off my ten little piggies and this mixed media assemblage sent those socks a flying.  This clothespin sculpture is from the now out-of-print book Teaching Mixed Media to Children (1995) by Karla Cikanova which I immediately decided I need for my library because I can always wedge another book on the shelf and a book like this could come  in handy someday...you know...when I'm teaching a classroom full of children....about....mixed media.  So, now I'm obsessed, wasting far too much time scouring the internet for used copies that aren't exorbitantly priced or only available from a bookseller in Australia.  In the meantime, I will satisfy my longing by admiring other wonderful images from this book on the equally lovely (and one of my new favorite) blogs:  An Ambitious Project Collapsing.

26 May 2010

Still Life: Golden Deer

I find it pretty amazing how a layer of gold can completely transform an object by elevating it from yawn to yow-za with a simple change in pigment.  Now I am eyeing everything in my home imaging how it would look with a nice layer of meticulously applied gold leaf.  The glitter!  The gleam!  The glamour! The glitz!  Of course, I could simply resort to the lazy man's version of gold leaf aka gold spray paint...oh, the horror. 

25 May 2010

My Future Home: Wheels

There are time when a Wandering Eye wants to, well, wander so having my future abode situated on four wheels would be quite handy (not to mention dandy).  After all, how wonderful would it be to travel within the comfort of ones own home?  I just need to remember about securing those potted plants out back and bringing the umbrella in before I pull onto the freeway...is that an angry car horn I hear?
From Rolling Homes: Handmade Houses on Wheels (1979) by Jane Lidz discovered via All The Mountains.

24 May 2010

Still Life: Surprise

Sometimes you shift some stuff around (aka clean off the kitchen bookshelf), alter the visual elements in an equation (aka remove unwieldy collection of vintage birdcages) and end up with a surprisely pleasant result (aka still life with gold antlers and crochet blooms).  Totally intentional.  Ta dah! 

23 May 2010

Rhyme nor Reason: Church

I'm not a particularly religious person but I do make a point of visiting this humble church whenever I am zig-zagging my way across the northern edge of Chelsea in New York.  True, this is a far cry from the Duomo or Notre Dame or Our Lady of the Assumption in Beloit Wisconsin but I still find this house of worship with its tell-it-like-it-is signage quite charming particularly under a colorless gray sky.  Of course I've never dared to venture inside....best avoid any structural damage lest the foundation start to quiver by my, um, tarnished presence because, even though I was raised Catholic, I strayed or rather... wandered.

22 May 2010

If I Were a Girl: Flowers

If I were a girl, I would definitely wear flowers in my hair.  I'd prefer to wear flowers that are real but, in a pinch, I would settle for tissue or silk or beaded wire.  I would even embellish my hair with plastic flowers if they looked wonderful in an artificial fantasia-of-flora way.  I guess I might be prone to overdoing it with the blooming accessories but what girl wouldn't want the biggest bouquet of flowers even if it is atop their head?
Photo via Nick Cave (the artist not the singer)

21 May 2010

My Future Home: Skylights

My future home will be generously perforated by skylights....great big windows of blue that will be ideal for daydreaming as I lie beneath watching magically shaped clouds drift past or, at night, stars twinkling in the black canvas of sky.

20 May 2010

Covet: Herriot Grace

The good news is that the talented father/daughter team at Herriot Grace has updated their shop with a new batch of wooden pedestals, spoons, scoops and other hand-crafted lovelies.  The bad news is that most everything is sold.  (Insert pouty lip sad face here)  Fortunately, the artfully staged photos of this new collection are available for ogling which is what I"ve been doing for the last half hour.  Take a gander over here.

19 May 2010

Rhyme nor Reason: One More Helen Levitt

This is another of my favorite images by the wonderful photographer, Helen Levitt, so I wanted to include it here. Like all of Ms. Levitt’s work, this photo speaks for itself so I won’t attempt to pontificate on its merits but I do wonder how many shots she took to get this beautifully choreographed image….perhaps just this one?

18 May 2010

Still Life: Lucky Star

Whoever says one shouldn’t leave Christmas decorations up year round must have some lackluster holiday d├ęcor. While I’m not about to leave my bedecked but drooping balsam fir standing in the corner for 11 additional months I might keep out a festive bauble or three for extended enjoyment which explains why this illuminated (and quite lucky) star is still brightening my world during the merry month of May.

17 May 2010

Covet: Carnival Toss Form

I must have a bit of the masochist in me as I like to peruse the SOLD archive of favorite dealers on 1st dibs. This is usually where I see the things I want....right…this….minute… like this carnival ball-toss bust form which was sold by Heir Antiques out of Providence.  I think this stoic figure would look great in an entrance hall always at the ready to welcome guests.  Afterall, who wouldn’t want a handsome gent with a hole in his head hanging around?

16 May 2010

Rhyme nor Reason: Bridges

I have a thing for bridges.  There I said it.  Large or small, steel or stone there is something about going over a bridge that adds a whole new element to a journey whether by car or on foot.   Maybe I am drawn to the change of perspective that a bridge offers, the opportunity of viewing ones surroundings from new higher heights or perhaps it is the tiny element of danger not unlike riding a roller coaster.  For on my most favorite bridges, the grand oversized-erector-set metal and iron constructions, those massive behemoth of bridges, there is a point, just before the crest, where it appears one might quite possibly continue off into the vast sky...I always accelerate a bit and keep hoping.

15 May 2010

Covet: Buckle Chair

Ever since I first fell off a horse at age eight, I have been smitten with all things equestrian.  While my older brother's side of the room was decorated with baseball trophies and model cars, my shelves were crammed with Breyer horse toys lined up in neat rows from large to small.  I would gallop those miniature horses all over my bedroom, giving them human voices and snappy attitudes and, when it was time for bed, I would lay my horses on their sides and cover them with Kleenex blankets.  Fast forward a decade or so (eh hem) and I still have a soft spot for the equestrian look (although now my taste runs more towards Hermes than Breyer) which is why I'm eyeing this leather covered chair by Restoration Hardware (again).  Who knew RH could turn out such fine looking pieces?  Get yours by galloping right over here.

14 May 2010

My Future Home: Organized

My future home will be extremely organized because that's the kind of gentleman I am.  Pause as I ignore the sotto voce guffaws and grumblings of the skeptics in my subconscious.  Just wait and see.  Sure I have amassed quite an array of prized collectibles (or 'dust catchers' as my minimalist Mother likes to say when she visits....rarely) but I will keep my treasures neatly arranged....practically categorized in the most systematic (and visually appealing) way...because this comes quite naturally to me and that way my future home will look something like this amazing home (and now museum) in Parma featured in the May issue of my most favorite of magazines, The World of Interiors.
Photo by Ricardo Labougle

13 May 2010

Still LIfe: Lilac

Currently appearing in plump purple clusters all over the neighborhood adding a welcome spritz of olfactory delight to afternoon strolling with my four legged friend whose smell, unlike her demeanor, is somewhat less sweet (but I won't hold that against her).

12 May 2010

Extra Special: Helen Levitt

If I was to compile a list of favorite photographers, it would probably take me a while to write them all down but one thing I know for sure is that Helen Levitt would be right up there towards the top.  I was introduced to Ms. Levitt's photography through a 1991 retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Art and I was completely floored by the scope of her work.  Each photograph was like a magic window containing a perfectly composed image of another time and place. 
From her early black and white studies of children playing in the streets of New York to her later color photographs, there is a seemingly effortless beauty to Ms. Levitt's compositions.  Some of the images possess such a tenderness and innocence that they make my heart ache (in a good way).  These are a few of my favorites.

11 May 2010

If I Were A Girl: Braids

If I were a girl, I would want to wear my hair in braids when the mood strikes.  Since I'm pretty crafty and I like to do things with my hands I might, at times, get a little carried away because, if I were a girl, I would have an abundance of thick, shiny, tangle-free hair a top my head which would make for quite a bounty of braids.  Fortunately, I have no doubt that my girlish self could pull this off...if only for a very special occasion..that doesn't involve dancing.
Photo by Katrin Backes, hair by Marisol Suarez via Yatzer.

10 May 2010

Rhyme nor Reason: Winnie

Sometimes you're way behind schedule, driving through town, cursing the driver in front of you and their all too apparent inability to perform two tasks at once namely maneuvering an oversized box on four wheels whilst talking on the phone and you happen to see something...a bright yellow something...there in the far corner of your sight line and poof!...or rather, Pooh!...suddenly, like magic, there is no schedule to adhere to, there is no traffic, there is only a bright yellow someone in a wee red shirt but no pants (?), walking down the street with a blue balloon in their white gloved hand and you have to roll down your window and say: Hello!

09 May 2010

Still Life: Vintage Crown

Yeah, I know.  This isn't exactly a crown.  Not even close.  It's a bit of architectural salvage found in an antique shop in upstate New York but I think it looks like a crown which is why I thought it an appropriate image for this special day when Moms everywhere should be treated like royalty.

08 May 2010

Distraction: Hill & Adamson

Thanks to my good friend, Angie, I have discovered yet another online archive of amazing images: Flickr.com/commons.  Once again, cut to hours later and I've completely ignored everything on my To Do list including those items highlighted in do-me-first yellow.  Even if I haven't accomplished any of my tasks for the day, I have seen some amazing photographs including these images by Robert Adamson & David Octavius Hill who worked out of Edinburgh, Scotland in the mid-1800's.  I love the lighting, the warm sepia-tones, the incredible clothing and, of course, the great 3/4 profiles.

07 May 2010

Crave: Sand Between My Toes

This has been one of those weeks I am happy to see fading into the distance as I drive a long the twisty, curvy road of life.  I won't even glance in the rearview mirror as I drive my impractical (but vintage cute) jalopy off into the sunset.  After this big dud of a week I've got my pedal to the medal which doesn't really matter much since my poor clunker doesn't do well at high speeds but I'm not too concerned because the first whiff of salty air my flat nose catches, I'm pulling off the road and heading towards the coast.  Nothing rejuvenates like a walk on the beach....waves crashing, sand crunching, warm water beckoning...

06 May 2010

Covet: Versailles Domed Chair

Seeing as I'm admittedly somewhat nose & bridge deficient, I'm a sucker for a great profile.  And by great I mean a profile with a story to tell.  And by story I don't mean some cute quip with doodles in the margins.  I want a profile that tells a hefty meat & potato, soon-to-be-made-into-a-major-motion-picture, hardback version of a story.  I will gladly take Rosy De Palma's distinctive side-view and schnoz over a ski-slope, button nose any day which is why I'd like to drop a few thousand clams for this new chair by Restoration Hardware.  With its hunched back like a turtle shell and neutral burlap/linen upholstery, this chair combines the right amounts of quirky and classic for adding into my decor...as long as I always view it from the side...and Rosy De Palma is sitting in it.  Now is that too much to ask for?  Available right over here.

05 May 2010

My Future Home: Staircase

Ever since I was a wee Wandering Eye growing up in a low-slung single story home, I have fantasized about having a house with stairs.  Nothing too grand of course.  Just some twisted iron banisters, wide steps in a rich dark wood, a landing or two and a dimly glowing vintage light perched atop the newel post.  Even if those stairs only lead to a roof-top-access-trap-door in the ceiling I'm not as concerned with the ascending as I am with the grand-entrance-pause-on-landing-for-dramatic-effect descending one can perform on a staircase...something I'll be doing in my future home even when playing to an empty house.

04 May 2010

If I Were A Girl: Vintage Threads

If I were a girl, I wouldn't wear this dress.  Not that I have anything against wearing vintage.  Slightly worn Culture Club concert t-shirt?  Gimmee.  Petrified costume from Medea found in the basement of the Paris Opera House?  Um, no thanks.  Even though I wouldn't hang this dress in my closet, I would definitely consider hanging it as a piece of art in my house because, in person, it truly is an impressive sculptural object and the craftsmanship and fabric are amazing. 

03 May 2010

Covet: Alexander McQueen Scarf

When I saw my friend Susan wearing this scarf, I thought she had three or four scarves on at once.  The way the fabric was twisted and gathered around her neck, different parts of the design were showing and each section looked like a completely different pattern.  When she showed me it was a God Save the Queen scarf from the late and incredibly great Alexander McQueen, I'm pretty sure I felt myself turning a touch green with envy.

02 May 2010

My Future Home: Sky High

My future home will have sky-high ceilings and doors that seem made for welcoming in friendly giants for afternoon coffee.  Besides, where else am I going to install an indoor trampoline and practice my pogo stick?   After all these years of stooping to get in doorways or bumping my head on low-hanging light fixtures, I would want to stand tall in my future home and wear my hair up with a feather accompaniment if the mood strikes.

01 May 2010

Extra Special: Rob Ryan

Fire up the invisible jet! I'm craving a trip to London where I'll have my pilot land right outside Somerset House so that I can visit Pick Me Up, the first contemporary graphic art fair in the U.K.  Once there, I will push my way to the front of the queue (like a proper oblivious American tourist) until I am front and center at the open studio of artist Rob Ryan who will be demonstrating his incredible paper-cutting talents.  Oh, how I love this man's work with its sweetly folkloric imagery in hand cut silhouette and screen print!
To be in attendance as Mr. Ryan creates his art would be such a treat that I wouldn't mind the curious looks of other fair goers as I stand for hours, hovering on the periphery with my big toes just crossing the fine line between casual observer and obsessed fan.  After I've made a complete fool of myself and been escorted to the exit doors by surly-but-well-dressed security guards, I will head over to Mr. Ryan's shop, Ryantown, where I will attempt to cure my obsession with a heavy dose of retail therapy.  Cheerio!  See more of Mr. Ryan's work here.